BEIJING, Feb. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG) and the exclusive media and marketing partner of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), broke records at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, reaching a cumulative audience of over 1.6 billion, according to data provided by X Media Sports Consulting GmbH. It marked the fourth year in a row the tournament has surpassed one billion viewers.

Infront secured broadcast agreements for over 155 territories and provided over 200 hours of footage of the tournament, which took place in Slovakia from 10 to 26 May 2019.

Reaching fans through broadcast and digital

An on-site production team of more than 130 members delivered the best moments of the tournament through a 30-camera setup, bringing fans to the heart of the action. Broadcast technology for the final weekend included two 4G cameras as well as ultra-slow motion, ref and cable cameras. In addition, a dedicated broadcaster servicing team was on-site at both venues to coordinate both broadcast and production activities.

The production was further supported by digital initiatives, including behind the scene videos and a new daily podcast, The Totally Ice Hockey Show, which attracted over 120,000 listeners, giving them an even more in-depth analysis and overview from the rink.

More than 2,500 video clips were published on the IIHF's social media channels, as well, attracting over 88 million views — an increase of 118 per cent compared to previous tournaments.

In addition, through a partnership with YouTube, fans watching online were able to easily find the best IIHF content and moments with the launch of a newly formed content creator network, which utilized a range of social media influencers who delivered daily content for IIHF platforms.

Creating the best platform for sponsorship activation

The tournament offered all 13 official sponsors an ideal platform to fully engage with ice hockey fans.

For example, ŠKODA –the Guinness World Record holder for longest sponsorship of a world championship through their continued agreement with the IIHF – used this opportunity to announce its KAMIQ small-size SUV vehicle.

Sponsors further benefitted from a unique event space, planned and coordinated by Infront. Infront leveraged its presence to create engagement for sponsors at venue sites, which were attended by more than 470,000 fans during the tournament. More than 5,000 VIP guest were able to enjoy the exclusive space, which included gourmet food and guest services throughout the tournament.

Infront Senior Vice President of ProSports Bruno Marty said: “Our aim for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is the same every year – to build on and improve what we have provided previously and set a new standard. For the 2019 edition, we were able to add another layer to the full-service for the IIHF, our long-term partner. I look forward to another successful tournament in 2020 in Switzerland.”

President and CEO of Wanda Sports Group Hengming Yang said: “We are excited to see Infront’s dedicated efforts to leverage its technology and experience to drive additional value for our clients. This new benchmark in fan engagement and sponsor exposure is the result of WSG’s strong partnership with IIHF and further underscores the growth opportunities available to us in the spectator sports business.”

The 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will take place in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland from 8-24 May.

About Wanda Sports Group

Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. 

Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.

About Infront

Connecting fans and consumers to the greatest sports events, Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company, offers everything an event or commercial partner needs to be successful. With a team of over 1,000 experts working from 45 offices across more than 16 countries around the world, Infront is equipped to tackle any challenge – be it innovative digital solutions, world-class event operations, international media rights distribution, sponsorship sales and activations or cutting-edge media production. Headquartered in Switzerland, Infront is passionate and #AllAboutSports. @infrontsports

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For more information, please contact:

Wanda Sports Group

Edith Kwan

Tel: +86 (10) 8558 7456